KC-46 Blooms a Boom

A KC-46A Pegasus test airframe flew in the tanker configuration for the first time on a certification flight earlier last week, manufacturer Boeing announced. Provisioned 767-2C test airframe EMD-1 took off with both the KC-46’s planned flying boom, and twin, wing-tip mounted refueling pods to check the configuration’s airworthiness on June 2, according to a photo release. The first full-up KC-46 Pegasus tanker (EMD-2) is slated to fly for the first time this summer, according to Boeing. The company is using four test aircraft—two provisioned 767-2C freighters, and later two KC-46A tankers—to attain FAA and Air Force certification. A provisioned airframe flew the program’s maiden flight from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., last December. The Air Force is planning to purchase 179 new tankers, with 18 airframes slated for delivery over the next two years.